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Newly renovated Terrasse Nelligan offers a cool summer vibe in Old Montreal

Hotel Nelligan is one of the more elegant properties in Old Montreal.  While I have been there on a number of occasions over the years for business meetings,   I was completely unaware that there was a rooftop terrasse.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I received a communique that there was indeed a terrasse that had just been given a significant upgrade. As readers know, I take every opportunity to dine outdoors in a nice setting during our warmer season,  so I immediately reached out to get a reservation at this elegant venue on a Saturday evening.

Under the auspices of  Corner Collection, a family-owned and operated business of internationally-renown, award-winning hotels, restaurants, and spas, the team at Hotel Nelligan collaborated with the acclaimed Atelier Zébulon Perron to add some new touches to the picturesque patio which can now seat 175 people. The bar was moved to the middle of the area while an awning has been replaced by a retractable covering which protects diners from the sun and inclement weather, yet magically disappears when appropriate be it day or night.

The place was packed the night we went and with deejay Larry Paiement spinning some great tunes, there was a really cool vibe. “We have a nice mix of people of all ages in terms of our clientele,” said Maria Antonopoulos, chief brand officer for Corner Collection. “The renovations have been well-received.”

Cocktails, wine, raw bar, grills, burgers and other delicious dishes to share await guests.  The popularity of the terrasse has soared in recent years, drawing locals and tourists back with a buzzing atmosphere and fantastic views. This year, the menu has been elevated with more refined dishes, furthering its appeal as a quintessential al fresco summertime patio.

The all-day, à la carte menu features a selection of dishes that focus on quality ingredients and favourite summer flavors. Shareable dishes include tuna tartare with crispy rice, spicy mayo, jalapeños, and shiso, sea bass ceviche with cucumber, fennel, Amarillo leche de tigre, and coriander oil, a signature seafood tower with oysters, lobster, shrimp, house cocktail sauce, and calamansi mignonette. 

We started off with some drinks, a strawberry mojito and soirée d’été, the latter having a delightful fruity flavor. For appetizers, the six oysters and the ever-so-tasty sea bass ceviche were perfect to share.

Newly renovated Terrasse Nelligan offers a cool sum I tried a piece  for me and it was out of this world. I opted for the Burger Nelligan, a Japanese Waygu beef patty with brie and sour cherry marmalade in a bun and I gave a big thumbs up to this one. We both had some very tasty grilled asparagus as a side. 

Other mains on the menu include beef skewer brochettes, lobster rolls, shrimp bao, grilled cauliflower and chicken katsu sando.

 There is a dessert menu as well.

“Terrasse Nelligan is more than just a place to eat and drink,” says  Antonopoulos.  “It’s also a place to relax, socialize, and have fun. From our vantage point, we have one of the finest views over the historic Old Port as well as onto the Saint-Lawrence River.”

The chic design aesthetic, vibrant atmosphere and musical programming sets an upbeat but relaxing tone throughout the day, with the energy being ramped up after dark and on the weekends. At any time of day, guests can expect to enjoy an elevated experience, taking in the stunning views of Old Montreal from above.

Indeed, the beautiful new bar runs down the spine of the rooftop. Here traditional handcrafted cocktails are elevated with innovative interpretations and bright edible garnishes.  

Brunch is served every Saturday and Sunday with dishes like eggs benedict Hollandaise, with feta cheese crumble, brioche bread, bacon or smoked salmon;  black salad with black and red quinoa, red cabbage, corn, peppers, and black garlic vinaigrette; and caviar with smoked butter, and sourdough crisps from the raw bar menu. Yes, this is something I wish to try down the line.

“We’re excited to reveal a transformed Terrasse Nelligan,” added  Antonopoulos. “There’s nowhere else in the city quite like it. We’re honoured to be one of the city’s quintessential summertime experiences. We look forward to welcoming even more locals and visitors alike to create memories overlooking the magical Old Port cityscape.”

The renovation marks the start of Corner Collection’s multi-million dollar, top-to-bottom transformation of Hotel Nelligan that will see the entire 105-guest room property completely updated with a fresh, new look rooted in a classic design sensibility that honors its historic location.

Corner Collection’s other brands include Hôtel Place d’Armes, Rainspa, Brasserie 701, Kyo Bar Japonais, Modavie, Nelli, Méchant Bœuf and Terrasse Place d’Armes.

Today, the business is led by the next generation who conceived Corner Collection as an homage to their father’s impressive legacy and named after the first restaurant he opened in Old Montreal, Le Coin (The Corner).

With a passion for creating remarkable destinations and unforgettable moments for guests, the team continues to seek out unique properties and collaborate with visionary partners to redefine the future of luxury hospitality.

Terrasse Nelligan is open from 11 am to 11 pm daily.  It is located at 106 rue Saint-Paul West. There is valet parking for $20 plus tax for those who dine at the restaurant. For more information call 514-788-4021 or log on to www.terrassenelligan.com.

Mike Cohen

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